A community without a dog park is a disappointing one indeed. Where will you go to meet cute dogs, get your pet some off-leash time, and hang out with other dog owners? You don’t have to go without these fun benefits. You can plan and build a dog park in your community. Here’s how you can get started.
Government Permission or Private Option
To build anything in your area, you will likely need the government’s permission, or you will need to own enough land for the park yourself. Talk to local officials who designate other kinds of parks about the possibility of getting a dog park. If they are onboard, then you’ve added a team member to your project. If the government is not onboard and no petition will sway them, then you can look into creating a private dog park. Much like a private golf course, you can have a membership or keep the park open to the public.
If you are working with the government or buying land, you’ll need to stake out a location. The best dog parks are large green areas, somewhat removed from homes so as not to disturb people, but close enough that people can drive in easily to visit. Land with odd slopes or other geological features that make it unsuitable for building other things is a great option for dog parks. There should also be ample parking.
Choosing a location with a natural creek or spring is wise too. Dogs will need access to water and it’s cheaper to have a natural source than run water to the park.
Fencing and Entries
Now you’ll have to determine the perimeter of the park and make some investment into fencing and secure entrances and exits. Some parks will have separate areas for small and large dogs. While this is ideal for the owners, it will add to your costs substantially as fencing is typically the most expensive part of these parks.
You may also want to invest in the entry gate. Some parks have two sets of gates, creating a small entry pen. Here, dogs can be unleashed and released without fear of cars or other dogs overwhelming them or their owners.
Placing the entry spots is important too. You don’t want to release a dog in a corner, where it may quickly get cornered by other dogs, creating unnecessarily tense situations.
Rules and Signs
Every dog park should have clear rules to limit the liability of the municipality or park owner and to ensure that it is a safe place. Popular rules you should consider for your park include:
- Use the park at your own risk.
- No dogs that are in heat.
- Pick up after your dog.
- Dogs that show aggression must leave.
- Children are permitted but must be supervised.
- Your dog must respond to recalls.
- Your dog must be supervised at all times.
Dog Park Extras
There are a few extras that you might consider adding to your park too:
- Seating for dog owners.
- Staff to clean the poop.
- Dog poop bag dispensers.
- Different ground material.
Don’t take on a project of this magnitude yourself. There are plenty of dog owners in your community who will likely want to help.